10 Things to Do in Manila on a Monday
The dreaded M word. No, it’s not your mother, it’s Monday. No other day (and even word) can bring out so much sadness, anger, and hate. After all, it’s the first day of the school and work week, the day that will ruin your perfect weekend. And with two days off from responsibility, you’re faced with the tasks you left over the weekend. Yes, many have talked about the famous “Monday blues” that it has become a legitimate term recognized around the world.
But of course, Mondays don’t always have to be terrible. Here are 10 great things to do in Manila on a Monday:
10. Go underwater at Manila Ocean Park
It may be a weird time to go to Ocean Park, but when faced with Monday blues, you need all the cuteness you can get. And what can be cuter than penguins, mermaids, jellyfish, and fishes? You can check out the oceanarium, home to 14,000 fishes from 277 species, all native to the Philippines and Southeast Asia. If you want interactive fun, there’s the mermaid swim experience where you can fulfill your Ariel fantasies; Trails to Antartica, where you can learn more about the continent and feed the cute little penguins; the relaxing Jellies exhibit; a glass bottom boatride; and a fish spa for a unique kind of massage. A day spent at Manila Ocean Park (open until 9PM) will help you relax and make you look forward to the work week.
Location: Roxas Boulevard, Manila
9. Explore Spanish culture at Instituto Cervantes
The best way to forget school or the office is to immerse yourself in another culture. One of the best cultures to explore is Spanish, because of our close ties. Instituto Cervantes Philippines is home to the Spanish culture in Manila, and hosts courses, teacher trainings, Hispanists, and cultural events related to Spain. Instituto Cervantes is one of the more active cultural organizations, holding events like the annual Dia de los Libros or Day of the Book (where you get a rose for every book purchase), and Pelicula, the Spanish film festival. Outside of these events, Cervantes holds discussions and events on literature, language, arts, film, history and other related topics. The library is open on Mondays, and there you can read Spanish and Latin American works, as well as listen to music, see films, and watch Spanish TV. Marimar, anyone?
Location: 855 T.M. Kalaw, Intramuros, Manila
Photo from Vinyl on Vinyl
8. See great Filipino art at Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery
If you think Filipinos are not creative, you obviously have not been to Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery. Vinyl on Vinyl, or VOV, is an art gallery located along Pasong Tamo, and frequently holds exhibits from some of the country’s most exciting visual artists. They usually exhibit fun, colorful, and vibrant work, making it a favorite haunt of millennials and hipsters. The artists VOV presents is proof that Filipino creatives know how to have fun. Fair warning, though: some of the works are trippy.
Location: 2135 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati
Photo from Today x Future
7. Chill out at Misyonaryo Mondays at Today x Future
Today x Future is a favorite spot for some of Manila’s most interesting people. This is where everyone in the creative industry hangs out (no exaggerations), so expect to see people who play and dress by their own rules. Unlike other dive bars, Future (also known as TxF) is very inclusive, and you can show up one night and be friends with everyone by the end of the gig. Each night has a theme, with its own set of revolving DJ’s that promote an eclectic mix of music. This is the only place in Manila where you can hear an excellent remix of an EDM favorite, followed by Donna Cruz’s “Kapag Tumibok Ang Puso“. Mondays are Misyonaryo Mondays, a night where you can unwind and blow off the Monday steam. Monday nights are hip-hop, jazz, soul, blues, and a little bit of rock, just to make sure you don’t go over the edge at the start of the week.
Location: #7-T Gen. Malvar Street, Cubao, Quezon City
6. Go Back to the Future every Mondays at Dillingers 1903
Dillingers 1903 is a great steakhouse that offers good meat at good prices. But they also offer great afterhours parties, with Monday dedicated to dance anthems of the past for Back to the Future Mondays. Come on, we all know the best dance songs were from the 70’s to the 90’s. One of the highlights of Dillingers is the secret door to Prohibition, the liquor lounge inside the bar. The speakeasy is ultra-exclusive, but that’s the kind of thing you’re looking for when you’re hiding from your boss, right?
Location: 3rd Floor, Greenbelt 3, Makati
5. Get artsy at The Collective
If you want to spend an experimental Monday, head on over to The Collective. It’s a compound that’s away from Manila’s hotspots, but it can still draw a crowd. The compound is home to bars, art galleries, and restaurants you won’t find anywhere else. It’s the perfect place to go if you’re feeling adventurous, because the space is intimate enough to hold all the curious shops. For food, we recommend Bamm, a restaurant that offers German-Turkish food; and Wabi-Sabi, a noodle house and vegetarian grocery. For shopping, there’s Ritual, where you can buy organic and artisanal food and household products in single servings; Ukelele Philippines for all your ukelele needs; and Craft MNL for everything craft. If you want to grab drinks, there’s the institution that is B-Side, which hosts gigs from some good musicians. Its owner, Anna Sobrepena-Ong, is one of the co-owners of the famous Black Market, so you know how much fun you can have there.
Location: 7274 Malugay Street, Makati
Photo from Comedy Manila
4. Laugh your heart out at Comedy Mondays at The Keg
The best way to relieve stress is to laugh, and The Keg hosts Comedy Mondays to start your week right. Monday nights are headlined by Comedy Manila, which aims to promote stand-up in the Philippines. Each week has a different set of comics, so it’s a good idea to make this a Monday habit to see which one is the funniest. Want to forget your stressful day? Here’s where you go.
Location: G/F The Fort Strip, Fort Bonifacio Global City
3. Shine bright at Sparklers Mondays 71 Gramercy
There’s something special about New Year’s Eve. It’s not the food or the alcohol. It’s the fireworks. There’s something about fireworks that makes us happy, that makes us welcome the new year. Why can’t we do the same thing to the work week? You can do that 71 Gramercy every Monday. Monday nights at the country’s highest residential skyscraper are for Sparklers, where every week is welcomed by nostalgic 90’s hits and of course… sparklers. It may not compare to the fireworks during New Year’s Eve, but when you’re this high, everything is extra beautiful.
Location: 71st Floor, Gramercy Residences, Kalayaan Avenue, Makati
2. Try artisanal coffee
If you want to unwind, coffee is your best bet. Yes, it may be filled with caffeine, but coffeeheads know how a fresh cuppa can relax the mind. Start the week right by having a good cup of joe. Avoid the mass-produced chains and go for something more personalized and artisanal. For this, we recommend Yardstick and Commune. Yardstick has a cute interior, but what makes them stand out is their coffee. Sometimes, they also hold courses, workshops, and tasting sessions for coffee enthusiasts and newbies. Commune has an intimate and charming space, and they make 3D latte art! (They also have good food).
Location: Yardstick (G/F 106 Esteban Street, Legazpi Village, Makati), Commune (Liberty Plaza, 102 H.V. Dela Costa Street, Salcedo Village, Makati)
The best way to spend a Monday is to… relax. That’s right. Stay at home, pop a DVD, watch a TV show, or read a book. Nothing clears the mind than being alone and indulging in your favorite activities. A quiet start to the week refreshes you, and makes you feel like you are ready to conquer the rest of the week… and even the world. Nights out are fun, but it’s best to stay in. Our recommendation: forget everything and just sleep.
Location: Your home
What’s a great way to start the week? Share your tips in the comments section below!
10 Things to Do in Manila on a Monday